Soldiers kill 5-year-old girl as they open fire in Mandalay following bomb attack 

A five-year-old girl was hit by a bullet and killed as junta soldiers opened fire in a residential area of Mandalay on Tuesday evening following a bomb attack by guerrilla forces.

Ei Thandar Aung was playing in the yard in front of her house in Chanmyathazi Township when the bullet struck her in the back of the head, killing her instantly, a woman who witnessed the incident told Myanmar Now.  

“The bullet hit her right in the head,” she said.

The soldiers began shooting after three explosions rocked the ward administration office in the Aung Tharyar neighbourhood near 45th and 110th streets. 

“The soldiers started shooting right after the explosions. They even shot into the alleys. The child was playing in front of the shop as usual,” the witness added. The girl was from a house that sold betelnut across from the administration office.

“There is a single bullet wound on the back of her head. It looked bad. She died on the spot,” said a member of a social services group who helped bring the body to the morgue at the Mandalay General Hospital.

It appears that no soldiers were injured in the bomb attack. Junta forces had already piled sandbags in front of the office and blocked traffic from coming and going nearby, leaving only a space big enough for a motorcycle to pass through.

The ward administration office has come under attack several times because its staff have been pressuring local residents to submit lists of overnight guests, and because soldiers were often stationed there, the woman who witnessed the child’s death said.  

Ei Thandar Aung was the only casualty from the shootings and the perpetrators of the bombing escaped, said another resident of the ward.

“We had to run as fast as we could when they started shooting in the alleys,” he said. “They fired shots non-stop while they cursed at everyone. I feel so bad for the girl.” 

Her funeral was held at the Taung Inn Myauk Inn cemetery on December 7. Myanmar Now was unable to contact her family. 

The military council claimed the child was killed in a grenade attack by “the opposing organization”, BBC Burmese reported. 

Around 100 children have been killed by junta soldiers since the February 1 coup, the shadow National Unity Government (NUG) said last week. 

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